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5 Innovative Artists Who Redefined How Art Is Created

They fly high above cities. They make sculptures of single grains of sand. Prepare to be amazed by the lengths these contemporary artists go to for their craft.

1 / 5

Redefining watercolors.

Deep under the Black Sea, a group of Ukranian artists create paintings while scuba diving. Alexander Belozor and his fellow artists must create their underwater landscapes in 40 minutes, because of the limited amount of oxygen in their tanks. Colors change at that depth, so the artists must consider whether to use red which may look like brown on dry land, or brown to create black.

2 / 5

Redefining gravity.

Artist James Nares doesn’t let gravity get in the way of the creation of large-scale oil paintings. To produce his undulating single-stroke abstracts without drips, Nares wears a harness attached to the ceiling to hover above the canvas. With an assistant’s help, Nares floats horizontally in mid-air, painting stroke after stroke with a handmade brush until he’s satisfied with the piece.

3 / 5

Redefining perspective.

Using an old fashioned bellows camera, Italian artist Olivo Barbieri shoots from a helicopter to capture aerial photographs. The twist: His tilt-shift technique of adjusting the camera’s lens makes the world’s largest cities look like toy models.

4 / 5

Redefining miniaturism.

The micro-sculputres that Willard Wigan creates are smaller than a blood cell and only visible through a microscope. To make these tiny rice figures ranging from Cinderella to a line of camels, Wigan enters a meditative state and, between heartbeats, manuevers a brush made of the hair from fly. Wigan has also used a tiny blade to carve figures from grains of sand and sugar.

5 / 5

Redefining paintbrushes.

Artist Hong Yi doesn’t bother with bristles. Instead, she dribbles a basketball dipped in paint to create portraits of famous basketball players like Yao Ming. She plays with her food and photographs her tiny creations built from rice, beets, and hot sauce. And she creates portraits from coffee cup stains, shuttlecock feathers, and hand-drawn musical notes.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest